Recently it was time once again for the annual outing with my BFF. One of our first trips, 16 years ago, brought us to London. I was there only one time since, during the Olympic Games in 2012. I didn’t get a chance to see the city (let alone do any shopping) because we raced from one event to the next. So, it is about time we got re-acquainted.
Londen has it all! Cosmopolitan, culture and fashion are a few words that spring to mind when I think of London. But London is also the place to be for foodies. I am pleased to take you with me to some of the unique restaurants in London.
In Harrods, one of the most beautiful department stores in the world, has an entire food hall with different types of restaurants. This is London for foodies! . You can get a burger, pizza, sushi… but of course they also serve traditional English fare like fish and chips.
You will find the Fish & Chips restaurant in the middle of the Food Hall. We took our seats at the inviting bar. Of course, we ordered the classic fish & chips. Back home you often find a grey-looking piece of fish of undetermined origin under the batter, but not here! They served us a freshly-caught bit of cod in a wonderfully crispy, tasty coating. Even the chips can compete with the Belgian ones (although they are still the best). If you don’t fancy fish & chips, they also serve a wonderful bouillabaisse, lobster or grilled fish.
Caviar House Oyster Bar is the place to be for the tastiest oysters, and if you are in the mood for something sweet, go to Ladureé for a delectable macaron.
And if you’re visiting London, you will need to go to the iconic Harrods at least once anyway, and it is one of the best places to eat in London.
My advice: Have some food here in the afternoon so you don’t lose too much precious shopping time!
Jamie Oliver is probably one of the most famous English chefs. He has as many as four restaurants in London. A steakhouse for a lovely bit of grilled beef, a diner for the perfect hamburger or hotdog and Fifteen for a fancy evening meal. We chose Jamie’s Italian at the entrance to Covent Garden. There is a nice courtyard at the back allowing you to sit outside when the weather is nice.
We picked the seafood linguine and the Jamie Oliver Caesar Salad. Both right on the mark.
The bill was easy on the wallet too. Not even 40 pounds for 2 people. Jamie’s Italian is a good, affordable restaurant in London.
But unfortunately, we did not see Jamie Oliver . We were lucky when 16 years ago we went for dinner at Antonio Carluccio’s restaurant in London. The famous tv-chef was in the building and came over after dinner to ask if we enjoyed our meal. We dared to ask and were immortalised in a photograph with him.
My advice: perfect for dinner. You do have to reserve a table, but you can usually do that the same day.
Burger & Lobster
Are you, just like me, a fan of a good hamburger and of lobster? You’re in the right spot at Burger & Lobster. They have 9 restaurants in London, so there’s always one nearby. We visited the restaurant on Leicester Square, just at the main entrance to China Town. It really is one of the greatest places in London for foodies. The restaurant is ginormous and tastefully decorated. There are aquariums with lobsters everywhere.
They serve lovely lobster croquettes as a starter. You can of course choose the grilled lobster or the authentic hamburger as your mains. Or perhaps even the Lobster Roll (when I taste it, I am immediately transported to New York, the place where I first enjoyed this delicacy).
You can’t choose, just like me? No problem. You can order the B&L Combo. A wonderfully crispy hamburger bun, with a hamburger AND a large piece of lobster. Heaven on a bun!
My advice: Perfect for lunch. As there are so many of them, you probably don’t have to go too far out of your way.
Sketch restaurant London
Save the best for last! If you really want a fantastic evening, go to Sketch, 9 Conduit Street in Mayfair . This spectacular, fabulous restaurant in London is truly unique. It is located in a building from 1779 that was initially the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects and later served as the atelier for Christian Dior. Sketch honours the building by putting great emphasis on design, art and architecture.
Restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and chef Pierre Gagnaire opened Sketch in 2002 and it is billed as a meeting place for food, art and music. The restaurant has several different parts:
- The Lecture Room & Library: This part received the first Michelin star in 2005, and a second in 2012.
- the Parlour: Start your day here with a fabulous breakfast or a tasty lunch, or end the night with a cocktail and music.
- the Glade: .Just like being in the jungle. Have a look at the carpet. Gorgeous!
- the East bar: A super cosy cocktail bar with DJ. The perfect place to end a great night
- the Gallery: My BFF booked us a table in the Gallery. She loves pink and the theme here is, coincidentally, “Forever Pink”. The walls are adorned with artworks by David Shrigley . You can enjoy a typical English Afternoon Tea or dinner.
Room by room all beautifully decorated in a unique, breath-taking style. There is so much to see. It is also a place to see and be seen. Pull your weirdest outfit from your closet as the dress code here is “art smart” (whatever that may be).
Must: visit the washrooms. It's the most extraordinary washroom I ever saw!
And I would nearly forget to mention that the food is fabulous here. This was the first night of the new menu. We tried the oyster with broccoli velouté and anchovies. Sounds like a risky combination but it tasted fantastic. The pitchi tortellini and Sketch peppered fillet steak are also recommended.
My advice: Reserve a table well in advance as this is the place to be.
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Do you know a unique restaurant that we have to visit on our next trip to London? Share it below!.